It's May and that means it time once again for the Spring Mindful Consumption Challenge. The 8 for 4 Challenge: 8 items of clothing for four weeks.
Last May I set out to see if I could wear six items of clothing for four weeks (a creative challenge initially raised in 2010 by a now offline website, SixItemsorLess). My goals? To examine how I was spending my fashion dollars. To go through my closet and donate any items that still had yet to be tailored or still had tags still on them.
Capsule wardrobes seem to be all the rage lately (women clean out their closets until they only have 33 items remaining). While I'm all for less is more, blindly following a trend has never been my style. We all shop for different reasons. We all dress for different reasons. So rather than look for a quick fix to curb spending habits or reduce clutter, I like pausing and truly examining why I'm behaving the way I am.
Last year I learned a few things about myself and my relationship with fashion. Fashion is a creative outlet for me. It's fun and an activity I often look forward to. With a toddler, limiting myself to six items proved a little more challenging than I anticipated, and I discovered fashion, typically a fun creative outlet for me, became something I dreaded. Totally not the intended consequence of the challenge! So, halfway through the challenge, I upped my capsule wardrobe to 10 items, replacing my Mother's Day outfit with more flexible separates.
This year I'm trying it again and hope you'll join me. Rather than six items of clothing, this year I'm starting with eight. I'm also giving myself an exception for Mother's Day, it's a day off from the challenge. If you have a wedding or other special occasion, I highly recommend planning for that outside of the challenge. Or, try working it into the challenge if you want to assess the flexibility of your wardrobe, but if you're stuck for an outfit that matches the event's recommended attire, don't drive yourself crazy. Because, fashion is supposed to be fun! And this challenge is about you and your relationship with fashion.
The 8 for 4 Mindful Consumption Challenge
The 8 for 4 challenge is simple. Decide to wear eight items of clothing for four weeks, from Sunday May 3rd through Saturday May 30th. Certain items are excluded from the challenge, meaning their wear doesn't count against your six items: underwear, socks, shoes, pajamas, accessories, and coats.
Your eight items can be a mix of any outfits or separates you like. To stretch my pieces, I'm going to pick eight coordinating items, for example, four tops, a skirt, a pair of pants, a pair of jeans, and a dress or three tops, two skirts, a pair of pants, a pair of jeans, and a cardigan. You can take this approach or do something completely different; there's no right or wrong way to do this challenge.
To participate in the challenge with me you agree to:
- Refrain from purchasing clothing during May
- Wear the same eight items over a four week period, from May 3rd through May 30th
- Optionally, share your experience via Instagram (tag your photos #8for4Challenge) or on your blog
- Optionally, include the 8 for 4 badge which can be found at the bottom of this post on your blog
IMPORTANT: Because this challenge is about understanding how we consume fashion, the eight items you chose should come from your closet. Uniforms for work are also excluded as you don't have a choice there. And yoga or gym clothes when worn to work out are also unlimited, as is underwear, socks, shoes, pajamas, accessories, and coats.
What to Expect
Each Friday during the challenge, beginning May 1st, you'll receive a newsletter with tips and worksheets for becoming a more mindful consumer. We'll be tackling the following topics:
- Week 1: Inventorying Your Wardrobe
- Week 2: Stretching Your Fashion Budget Dollars
- Week 3: Getting to Know Your Brands
- Week 4: Making Smart Shopping Choices
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.
Tips: If including the 8 for 4 Mindful Consumption Challenge Pledge or guidelines on your blog or website, link participants back to this post. The URL for this post is: http://www.theroadtothegoodlife.com/2015/04/8for4Challenge.html.